Moving to Memphis

“I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first it is impossible; then it is
difficult; then it is done.”

~ Hudson Taylor

Each world penetrates the other. The present is, so to speak, pregnant with the future to which the future gives birth. β€œThe world is charged with the grandeur of God,” declares the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. Charged as in electrically charged; the present is given new urgency, raised to a new level of intensity, because it is riddled through and through with a promised future.

~ Richard John Neuhaus, Living Between the Now & the Not Yet

Dear Friends & Family,

The looking part of our housing journey is over. After a long, intense search, we finally have made an offer on a house that has been accepted. We have found a ranch home with over 1600 square feet on Madison’s east side, near Fair Oaks & Milwaukee. Well, technically, it is in one of the many patches (surrounded by Madison) that make up the Town of Blooming Grove. The neighborhood is somewhat walkable, with friends, several parks, the bike path & the Goodman Community Center nearby; the library is just five blocks away!

We are excited about the house, but it is being sold as a result of a pretty messy divorce, where the owners trashed & abandoned their things. It is hard to see, in the midst of it’s current trouble, the good place we believe God has for us on Memphis Ave., but we believe that God has set us there — which means that we get to clean the mess!

This is both important & urgent because our ability to finance the purchase depends on the house being able to pass inspection. The bank inspectors will very soon — within a week or so — be looking for a place with no peeling paint, no debris or hazards, etc. That’s not where this place is yet, but we have undertaken to redeem it, to make the promise of blessing a reality.

This is where we need your help. There is no way we can do this alone. We need scrapers & painters, baggers & haulers, scrubbers & fixers to work with us to clear away the junk and fix the broken places, so that this can meet the required standards to become our home.

The pictures below will give you an idea of what we are facing (though we’ve already done some work since I took them). We have a trailer we can borrow to haul away debris to the dump, but still need to find a pickup truck with a hitch to pull the trailer when we are ready to load up. Things are moving fast, & our plans for how this will get done are changing as we work through the task.

One of our friends, responding on Facebook to the above quotation from Hudson Taylor, said, “Funny how impossible is almost easier to deal with than difficult. Yet that difficult stage is where the most gets done and we see the transformation from impossible to completed.” We are asking you to pray & work with us to bring this transformation to completion.

Please leave a comment below, contact us on Facebook, by phone, or email, and let us know when you can come help. We’ll plan a big celebration with all our helpers when we’re moved in!

Grace & Peace,

Andrew & Nicole


  1. Posted June 1, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I wish I could come help! That is a lot of work, and it must be very heart-wrenching to consider what happened in that house. God loves to redeem and restore though! I hope and pray that your family is overwhelmed with grace and peace as you work.

  2. Posted June 1, 2010 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    It is heart-wrenching. We are hoping our interactions with this property will play some small role in healing for that family as well. Thanks for keeping us all in prayer, Renae!

  3. Posted June 1, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Boy. You guys just don’t do things the way other people do them, do you. πŸ™‚
    Anyway, I suspect I will have time thursday 7/3 to help. Send me an E-mail with where I should show(or not), etc.

  4. Posted June 1, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Rocky – we’ll be in touch. πŸ™‚

  5. Wayne Pferdehirt
    Posted June 4, 2010 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Andy and Nicole,
    Hi. It was a pleasant surprise to bump into you yesterday on campus. As I said, I will stop by on Saturday to help for a few hours. Please let me (and others) know if we should bring along any supplies (tools, buckets, etc) whan we come by to help.


  6. Posted June 4, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Hi Wayne,

    Thanks for your offer to help! Jospeh’s baseball game will go until 11:00. If I remember from our conversation yesterday, morning was a better time for you. I could have primer, scrapers…ready for you if you wanted to start earlier. We need to scrape all peeling paint from the windows and then prime them. If you have some ladders that we could use that would be great. There is one at the house, but its not very big.

  7. Wayne Pferdehirt
    Posted June 5, 2010 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Hi. I will plan to come by around 11:30. I have extension ladders, but no way to transport them. I will plan to bring a stepladder.
    See you later,

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